UPDATE 12:30 p.m. 9/21/12: According to multiple sources, Cabrera has requested that he not be eligible for the NL batting title, and the league has obliged in a one-time exception!
First of all, let me give Melky the thumbs-up for a very smart, classy move. He knows he did wrong and doesn’t want to earn a rare honor based on a tarnished season. No matter how much I despise the guy, I can appreciate and respect this act.
Now the question becomes, why is this a one-time exception? If a player knows he cheated and the league has recognized that with a suspension, why not let them request this in the future? Why not make it a policy, in fact, to banish suspended PED users from award consideration anyway?
That’s all for now…check out the new poll below and let us know how you feel!
——-END OF UPDATE——-
…what? No, no. This must be a joke. BLAST! It’s no gag:
“We’ll see how it all plays out,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of “CenterStage” for the YES Network. “We generally don’t interfere in that process. We’ll take a look at it at the end of the year.”
That quote comes directly from this Fox News story posted earlier today, and also includes this gem:
During the YES interview, scheduled to air for the first time Sept. 27, Selig was asked whether records set during the Steroids Era should be revisited.
“You can’t change records because once you get into that it would never stop,” Selig said. “It would create more problems than it would solve.”
Okay, first things first. It’s not “if” Cabrera wins the NL batting title. It’s “when.” And everyone knows that. I’m sorry, but Andrew McCutchen is not going to hit nearly .500 over the final 14 games of this season and overtake Cabrera. If he does, this blog becomes pointless and worthless and I will gladly eat my words.
“It would create more problems than it would solve?” The problem is that it isn’t being solved! SOLVE THAT, BUD!
Technically, Cabrera stands at 501 plate appearances, one short of the 502 required to qualify. But according to some rule in the rule book of rules locked deep within the rule hall in the annals of Major League Baseball’s rules department, the rule troll himself points out that an 0-for-1 can be added to the average to make Cabrera qualify, as long as it’s still above the second place finisher.
So it sounds as if Cabrera’s testosterone-induced .346 average will stand, no matter how much people like me cry and kick and scream. What I don’t understand is this: how can a Commissioner, so hell-bent on saving his own reputation by instituting one of the harshest drug-testing penalty systems in modern sports, just ignore this incidence?
Selig put so much work into creating a fair, stringent testing system to catch all those Popeye-lookin’ sluggers who were breaking home run records left and right. And now he’s going to let one of the players his system caught make a mockery of it?
And this isn’t Ryan Braun or Barry Bonds – both innocent, technically. This is a guy who was caught this year and said “Sorry I’m not sorry, dudes. I cheated.”
Okay, I’m sure Melky’s admission was a little more professional, but you get my point.
While Selig is in a giving mood, let’s pass out some other free milestones, shall we? Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline both retired with 399 home runs. Screw it, they get 400! Miguel Cabrera needs two more home runs to be leading the Triple Crown categories in the American League. All yours, Miggy! Or this, from Twitter:
If we are giving Melky 1 more PA so he can qualify for batting title, it seems fair we give Omar Vizquel 140 hits so he can have 3000
— Chef Justin (@JGallagher24) September 19, 2012
Baseball is a hard-fought game in which accolades and milestones are earned, not given. And when a player directly, unabashedly disregards the integrity of the game for personal gain, it’s like a slap in the face.
Would you give someone who just slapped you in the face a diamond ring right after? It’s like Paul Edgecomb in “The Green Mile” (R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan) letting Wild Bill Wharton out of prison to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.
Give me a freakin’ break, Selig. Man up and make the move. Cabrera should absolutely not be allowed to win the NL batting title, based on three things:
1) Common sense
2) The integrity of the sport
3) More common sense
All I know is that this is an awful idea. And that Selig would not want this to be his last move as Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
End, rant. Let us know what you think about Melky Cabrera’s likely NL batting title in a PED-tainted season in the comments below. And VOTE in the poll!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
We briefly brought up this topic on our most recent podcast: Should the A’s and Giants as teams be punished further for their PED-suspended players?
Everyone knows the names. Melky Cabrera for San Francisco and Bartolo Colon for Oakland, both major contributors to their respective teams’ success in 2012, were suspended for 50 games apiece by Major League Baseball for testing positive for testosterone.
And under the improved, more stringent suspension rules, they got a fair punishment. Both players will lose a lot of money in that span, don’t get to play in playoff races, and likely will receive a lot less interest as free agents. And even though the teams probably had no idea what was going on, should they be punished too?
Before you jump on me for being “biased” as a Dodgers fan, let me remind you that I’m also an A’s fan. I hate that PED’s are still a part of the game, and am not clamoring for an excuse as to why my Dodgers trail the Giants. The Giants have simply been better, and I’d rather beat them with Melky in the lineup if that was at all possible.
Now, back to the question. I truly believe that players would never screw around with serious PED’s if they knew it would take away wins from the group of guys that become like brothers to them over the course of a 162-game season. Do you think Cabrera would have screwed over his manager and buddies on the Giants for personal gain if he knew the team as a whole would be docked?
Would Colon have cheated if he knew that his rotation-mates and all the passionate fans in Oakland would lose in the win column? I doubt it.
I researched Cabrera’s WAR before the suspension for the 2012 season. It hovers around 4.5, depending on the source. You can reasonably assert that Cabrera was worth 4-5 wins for the Giants before his suspension this season. Colon is a trickier case because he’s a pitcher, but his WAR is listed as 2.8. I feel fine going out on a limb and saying a starting pitcher’s WAR can be doubled, considering they have a hand in every play.
So let’s say Cabrera was worth 5 wins for the Giants this year, and Colon was worth 6 for the A’s.
That would put the A’s in third place in the AL West, way back in the Wild Card race, and scrambling to make a comeback much like their division rival Angels are. It would put the Giants either tied or 1 game back in the NL West, and still on the verge of a Wild Card spot.
Personally, I think it’s worth discussing. Sure, the teams didn’t know what was going on. But they still benefited from the testosterone-fueled success that player may have brought to the team before the suspension kicked in. It may be difficult to figure out a system, but even having that provision in the doping rules would potentially reduce use by a good margin.
Do you think this is something MLB should take into consideration? Should a suspended player’s team also be punished for the wins they accumulated with that player on the roster? VOTE below, and let us know your opinion in the comments!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Well, it seems we know where the PED’s all come from. Much like babies come from storks, presents on Christmas come from the North Pole, and penguins come from Antarctica, all performance enhancing drugs taken by baseball players clearly originate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I do live here. I am NOT on PED’s. I swear. Test me.
But after Melky Cabrera became the second San Francisco Giant to be suspended for use of an illegal substance, the fun was just beginning. Apparently, the Oakland A’s “fluffy” (for lack of a kinder term) starting pitcher Bartolo Colon wasn’t all beefed up on In-N-Out alone.
He was also suspended earlier this week for use of testosterone, and much like Cabrera, straight up admitted guilt without appealing.
I don’t get it. At least try to fight the suspension. DON’T try to make a fake website. But as Colon and Cabrera have so aptly demonstrated, abandoning your teammates, management and fans is the new thing to do these days.
I won’t go into the detail of why taking PED’s is stupid and wrong and unfair, or how it affects the MLB policies and all that jazz that I mentioned in the Melky blog.
But, I’ll tell you how this affects the A’s: not as much as you might think.
If you haven’t noticed (you haven’t – nobody outside Northern California follows the A’s!), the young pitching staff of the A’s has been absolutely rocking it. And just when the rookies like Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker are beginning to experience growing pains, back come Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to improve the rotation.
Losing Colon hurts. He’s been the team’s most consistent pitcher in 2012 (alas, it was all a dream!). But the two guys they are getting back off the DL are both better than Colon, meaning the A’s may have actually improved their rotation. Imagine that.
So will Colon’s suspension knock the A’s out of playoff contention? Tell us below in the comments!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
My jaw only drops in certain instances where what I’m seeing or hearing is absolutely unbelievable. Today, I was stopped in my tracks when the news of Melky Cabrera’s positive testosterone result came back, and the concurrent 50-game suspension handed down by MLB:
Before we get any farther, let me contextualize the blog – YES, I’m a Dodgers fan. And NO, I’m not happy that Melky is out for the rest of the year.
I have a steamy romance with baseball, and I was hoping this era was completely over after the Ryan Braun saga last season. Finding out PED use still goes on among the biggest names in the sport is like getting punched right in the balls, regardless of the jersey of the prognosticator.
And it’s even worse that the player in question straight up admitted to doing it. Basically, what Cabrera said when announcing the decision wouldn’t be appealed, was “Yeah, I cheated. Oops.”
The way I see it, Cabrera slapped the sport that made him famous (not to mention all the coaches, teammates and fans in San Francisco) right in the face. It was shocking, selfish and disappointing. But what does this mean for Cabrera, his team, the NL West, and baseball as a whole?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Cabrera screwed himself over. It’s a contract year, and he was sure to be one of the hottest commodities in the free agent market with his play over the last two seasons. Now, his future contract is entirely in doubt.
Will any team even take a flier on a guy who nonchalantly admitted to cheating during the only season he’s been a true super star? Probably. But he certainly won’t be paid well.
And now teams will hesitate to look at bringing in a guy who essentially abandoned his teammates in the heat of a playoff race. Someone who clearly cares more about his own statistics than the success of the entire entity that is the Giants.
Speaking of the Giants, they have held a slim lead in the National League West since about mid-July. Cabrera has been a huge part of that. We can close the book on Melky’s final line in 2012, because he’s suspended for the remainder of the regular season, plus some: .346 average, 11 homers, 60 RBI, 13 SB and good defense in the outfield. Not to mention he was leading the world in hits.
How can the Giants replace that kind of production? Even with Hunter Pence in the fold, the already inconsistent lineup now faces a major challenge. That being said, this 2012 version of the Giants is a much better team than the squad that won it all in 2010.
The Giants still have fantastic starting pitching, big bats in Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, and a seasoned manager. Though the Dodgers might be the team to beat on paper now, the Giants are still a legitimate contender. And if they get back and win a post season series (a very good chance, considering their pitching), Cabrera would be eligible to return to the team after five playoff games.
If the Giants want him back.
So…this happened. On a day that was capped off with such an incredible pitching performance, the Melky Cabrera suspension news is slightly buried. And that’s just how I like it.
Fans are sick and tired of players getting on the juice, getting caught, being suspended. It needs to end. It must end. Please make it end.
Hey Melky – Ryan Braun will take that All-Star Game MVP trophy if you don’t mind.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)